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Typically when we talk about self care it’s centered around our physical bodies or relaxing & quieting our minds.
But part of taking care of ourselves is also keeping our minds sharp! That’s easier than ever now that everything is readily available right online (or our tablets, or our phones, or basically anywhere that has the internet and buttons!) There are *so many* different ways to learn something new and work on keeping your mind sharp. (And many are free, so yayay!)
I recently downloaded the Duolingo app, my daughter and I are learning Spanish together! It’s actually really fun and I feel a sense of accomplishment learning a new word or phrase. I imagine us traveling to South America or Europe and communicating *flawlessly* because Duolingo has helped me become totally fluent. 💁🏼♀️ (Heh, they may or may not be a joke, we’ll see.)
It’s such a good idea to learn a new language. Education at every age is so important and teaching my daughter while she’s young will definitely help her pick up language faster in school.
This post from Harvard Medical School says that continued learning helps protect our memory as we age! Obviously there are other health conditions that can contribute to memory decline but if we can possibly protect our minds with a little education, we should do it!
And in this post from NPR, researches found that learning new skills actually improves memory *now*. I don’t know about you but I can use allll the memory improvement tools available since becoming a mom because my brain has gone to complete mush.
Doing something for yourself is important, and when we talk about self care we should take in account all of the ways we need to be taken care of.
Another good thing about self care for the mind is that it’s not just a solo activity. Of course it can be, but you can take care of yourself with your family too!
It’s nice to be able to spend quality time with my daughter, she thinks we’re playing a game, I’m fitting in some self-care, and we’re both having fun! There aren’t too many self care options where you’re encouraged to spend time with someone, but learning a new language, taking a cooking class, a sewing class, or floral arrangements are all great ways to combine self care with quality family time. And you know us busy mama’s, we just loooove killing two birds with one stone. 😉
What I’m loving about my current method of self care is that I can use it to set goals for myself! Learning a new language has encouraged me to think about travel, so I’ve started budgeting and saving to accomplish that goal.
And simultaneously having that goal helps me keep up with my lessons. Knowing I’ll get to travel somewhere amazing after working hard on this new skill is great motivation to keep me working.
If you decide to do a cooking class, your goal could be to throw a fabulous dinner party. If you want to learn to sew or crochet, you can commit to making gifts for loved ones! (I did that one year and they were a total hit!)
Suggestions for the Mind
If you need some ideas for mindful self care try one of these:
- Online language courses (via Duolingo)
- Sewing classes
- Floral Arrangement
- Cooking classes
- Drawing classes
- Online courses at a local community college
- Photograhy (you can take traditional classes or search for online courses for free!)
- Musical instrument lessons
- Karate or Self Defense
- Money management classes
- Computer Coding Courses (traditional or online)
I could go on and on! Check out this website for more ideas and some references on where you can find new learning opportunities.
We should always be taking care of ourselves and keeping our minds strong is a big part of that. Aside from the health benefits, personal successes like reaching a goal, passing a class, or a making a gift helps us feel good inside and that’s really the most important aspect of self care anyway.